For countless years, business cards have served as an essential tool in the realm of business networking. They are more than just a piece of paper; they function as a swift and straightforward method of sharing necessary contact details with potential clients, partners, or investors. Moreover, they frequently set the first impression for a brand or an individual, playing a critical role in shaping the perception others hold. In the face of the rising trend of digitalization and the transformation of business operations towards more digital platforms, one might expect traditional tools like business cards to fall out of favor.

However, against all odds, business cards have managed to hold onto their significance. Their tangible nature and the personal touch they carry have helped them remain a staple in networking scenarios, proving that some aspects of business still value the personal touch in this increasingly digital world.

How were business cards used in the past?

In the past, business cards played a crucial role in the professional world, serving as an indispensable tool for professionals of all sorts to introduce themselves, their expertise, and their businesses. They acted as a silent yet powerful tool that helped shape the first impression of an individual or an enterprise. Originating in the 17th century as trade cards, these pieces of paper had a different purpose initially.

They were primarily used by merchants, traders, and other business entities to direct potential customers to their stores or trade outlets. They would contain not just the name and address of the trader, but often a map or a symbol to help customers find their way to the business. Over time, these trade cards evolved into what we now know as business cards, adapting to the changing dynamics of business communication and networking.

The historical journey of business cards began when they took the form of visiting cards used by upper-class individuals to announce their upcoming visits to the residences of friends, relatives, and acquaintances. These cards served as a polite gesture, a token of etiquette among the elite of society. As time moved forward into the 19th century, a significant shift occurred in their usage. The cards began to carry not just personal details, but also business-related information. This marked the transformation of the personal visiting cards into what we now recognize as modern business cards.

These business cards started to include vital contact information such as telephone numbers and addresses. They also detailed the nature of one’s business and profession, providing a snapshot of the services offered. Often, they would feature a company logo or emblem, serving as a tool for brand recognition. This allowed potential clients or partners to associate the card with a particular enterprise.

Benefits of business cards today

Business cards serve as a crucial connective bridge between individuals, embodying a deeply human aspect and personal touch that are frequently missing in today’s era of digital communications. They encapsulate the very essence of a brand or individual in a small, tangible format that can be physically held and observed. This tactile nature of business cards provides a profound sense of permanence and tangibility that is often missing in the ephemeral world of digital contact exchanges.

By acting as a physical reminder of a meeting or conversation, business cards become a tool that aids memory, making the person or business stand out in the receiver’s mind. This distinctiveness and longevity can often lead to a more memorable and long-lasting impression than digital contact exchanges, which can easily be forgotten or lost in the multitude of digital communications we receive daily. Standing out and being distinctive is something that we here at Pipeliner understand. With a powerful yet easy-to-use tool we are always looking to push the envelope.

In today’s digital age, one may question the relevance of business cards. However, they continue to prove their worth in a multitude of scenarios where digital technology either falls short or simply can’t provide the same level of convenience. Business cards, for example, are invaluable in situations where digital means of sharing contact information are not suitable, impractical, or inconvenient.

Consider the setting of networking events or trade shows. These are often bustling, high-energy environments where you’re meeting numerous people within a short span of time. In these scenarios, it might be impractical to exchange information digitally due to a lack of time or internet connectivity. Imagine trying to pull out your phone, open an app, and then share your contact information with someone you’ve just met. It’s not only time-consuming but also runs the risk of seeming impersonal and rushed.

In contrast, business cards are quick and easy to hand out. They eliminate the risk of technological hiccups, such as a lack of signal or a dead battery, and allow you to make a professional impression. In such situations, business cards come to the rescue, ensuring that your contact information is within easy reach of potential clients or associates. They serve as a physical reminder of your interaction, something that a digital exchange might not be able to replicate. This way, even after the event, potential clients or associates have a tangible piece of your professional identity in their possession.

In essence, although we live in an increasingly digital age, business cards maintain their relevance. They bring a personal touch to professional interactions that digital networking often lacks. They provide a palpable piece of your brand that people can hold, which can leave a much stronger impression than a mere digital exchange of information. Therefore, business cards continue to be a simple, yet effective way to ensure people have your contact information and remember you after the event.

What should a business card contain?

A business card is an effective and efficient tool to relay vital contact information to potential clients, business partners, or professional associates. It is a tangible representation of your professional identity that enables those you interact with to reach out to you for future correspondence. The business card should, at a minimum, feature your full name, clearly indicating who you are. Coupled with this, your professional job title should also be displayed prominently, thereby providing an immediate understanding of your role and expertise.

The name of your company or organization should also be displayed, thereby informing recipients about the business you are affiliated with. To enable recipients to contact you, multiple communication details should be incorporated into the card. These often include a direct phone number, an active email address, and the physical address of your company. These details provide various avenues through which interested parties can engage with you, thereby fostering open communication.

In today’s digital age, it is becoming increasingly common to include professional social media handles on business cards. These can be linked to platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter, which serve as additional touchpoints for professional engagement. For certain professions, it might be beneficial to include a link to a personal website or an online portfolio. This can provide a more comprehensive overview of your professional accomplishments and skills to potential collaborators or employers.

A crucial aspect of any business card is the inclusion of your company’s logo. This contributes to brand recognition and helps to create a consistent visual identity. Lastly, it’s vital to ensure that the design of the business card is professional, clean, and aligned with the aesthetics of your brand. This not only ensures readability but also conveys a strong visual message about your brand’s identity and values. Therefore, a well-designed and informative business card serves as an effective networking tool that can open up new professional opportunities.

Digital business cards

Digital business cards have emerged as a modern and eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper cards. These electronic versions of business cards are typically stored on a phone or digital device and can be shared through email, QR codes, or apps. They offer the same benefits as traditional cards, such as brand recognition and personal touch, while also adding unique features of their own.

One of the significant benefits of digital business cards is their flexibility. They can be updated or edited at any time, ensuring your contact information is always up-to-date. This is especially beneficial in today’s fast-paced business world, where changes can occur rapidly.

Another advantage is their ease of distribution. With digital business cards, you don’t have to worry about running out of cards at a networking event or carrying a stack of cards wherever you go. They can be shared with a simple click or scan, making networking more convenient and less cumbersome.

Moreover, digital business cards are more environmentally friendly than their paper counterparts. By opting for a digital version, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Despite these advantages, some people still prefer the tangibility and tradition of physical business cards. Therefore, it might be beneficial to have both types at your disposal, ready to cater to different preferences and situations.

Tools to help make business cards

There are numerous online tools and websites available to help design and create business cards. These tools often come with customizable templates, allowing you to create a card that suits your brand’s aesthetic and communicates your professional information effectively. Some of these include:


This graphic design tool offers a wide range of business card templates that you can customize with your own text, logos, and images. It also enables you to select your own colors and fonts to match your brand’s style.


Known for their printing services, Vistaprint also provides an online design tool for creating business cards. They offer a variety of styles, finishes, and design options to choose from. Once you’ve designed your card, you can easily order your prints right from their website.

Adobe Spark

This tool allows you to create professional-looking business cards with a wide selection of themes, images, fonts, and layouts. If you have a Creative Cloud subscription, you can access premium features for a more advanced design process.


MOO offers high-quality business card printing with a lot of customization options. They provide unique features such as rounded corners, mini cards, or gold foil accents to make your card stand out.


With Zazzle, you can either choose from their vast array of pre-designed templates or create your own from scratch. They also offer a range of different shapes, sizes, and paper finishes.

Remember, while these tools can aid in the design process, it is crucial to maintain a clear, professional look that aligns with your brand’s identity and values. A well-designed business card can leave a lasting impression and serve as a powerful networking tool.


As we navigate through an era that is rapidly transitioning towards digitization, the significance of business cards continues to stand unchallenged. Amidst the growing dependency on digital communication platforms, business cards offer a personal touch and a physical connection, which are often lacking in digital interactions.

Whether it’s a traditional paper card embellished with unique designs and textures or a digital version embedded with interactive features, business cards serve as an effective and essential networking tool that can leave a lasting imprint on the minds of the recipients. They not only represent your professional identity but also provide a quick and convenient method of sharing your contact information, thereby facilitating easy communication with potential clients or partners.

In spite of the surge in the use of digital communication tools, business cards have managed to retain their relevance in professional networking scenarios. Their ability to create a memorable first impression, coupled with their ease of distribution, has ensured that they continue to hold their ground in the professional world. Thus, business cards, with their tangible presence and personal touch, have proven their enduring importance and relevance in today’s fast-paced and increasingly digital business landscape.